Reminder:

Make sure your build is at or higher than the latest build posted below. If it's lower, verify the game contents to force an update. It's also important to remember that the sandbox depot is not updated regularly. This depot is only used for confined testing. If you were working with me on one of these confined tests, please remember to opt out of the sandbox depot so you're always receiving the most up-to-date build of the game.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Build: 1820652

About Time Update
So it's been a while since the last update but a lot has happened. Most of the work has been under the hood, specifically to prepare the game for the full campaign. Naturally I'll give more detail below though, starting with...

New Campaign Menu

The campaign menu has received a face lift. The new menu is one of many new refreshes that are coming. Nothing major for the majority of the game since most of that is finalized, however this refresh aims to make sure that the menu system reflects the design language the game is going for. Specifically, minimizing text where it's not needed and making sure where text is used, it's necessary and pronounced.

The new campaign menu replaces the campaign level list with screenshot panels which should make it much easier to identify levels. The screen also outlines the requirements for unlocking the next section, which as it stands are having beaten all five levels in the section or collecting all the cubes in at least four of the levels.

Menu Navigation

When clicking the section text, you'll be shown all the sections you currently have unlocked plus the next section. This means that you won't be able to see all the sections available in the game, but rather the next locked section. This is by design.


Individual Level

Clicking on a level will bring up the level details panel. This panel will be used to display your best score on the level and the current leaderboard for the level once this functionality is added. Of course this functionality won't be available until closer to release when the new campaign levels have been released.

Locked Sections

Along with the face lift, the menu is now properly able to lock you out of sections you haven't properly unlocked yet, while also displaying the requirements for unlocking it. Once you've met the requirements, the screen will appear with an unlock button that will permanently unlock the section to your save file and reveal the next locked section.

Frosted Glass

The next update is strictly cosmetic. The entire interface is being updated with a new frosted glass interface which was ultimately the goal from the very beginning. This means that all transparent panels will blur out the background, giving them the appropriate appearance of glass.

Currently this only extends to the title screen and level editor but will be across all UI elements in the release version of the game.

Note: There are still some graphical issues with this, specifically any menus that fade in and out with 3D animation. The only known example of this is when selecting individual levels from the campaign menu though so if you notice any other issues, please let me know so I can fix them in the next update.


Diamond Level Editor v2.3

The level editor has received quite a few updates. Most of the changes were behind the scenes optimizations and fixes to improve stability and cleanliness of the code for easier expandability in the future. However there was one major bug fix related to color switches and the screenshot capturing mechanic. The issue resulted in a significant drop in performance when building even moderately sized levels, especially ones with more than one or two color switches. This fix almost doubles the expected performance from the editor and should be a huge reprieve for anyone trying to build levels on a laptop.

Level Name/File Name Merge

Up until this update, you've been able to name your level and it's file name separately. Unfortunately this was directly linked to an issue which would cause levels to not overwrite properly and was ultimately done purely for the sake of being allowed to use characters in the level name that would otherwise be invalid for filenames. Unfortunately this added flexibility lead to more issues than it was trying to solve, especially when you were expected to name your level and your file name.

Ultimately I decided to just merge the level name and file name into a single "Level Name" field which should make it a little less inconvenient to save your levels, at the cost of no longer being allowed to use invalid characters in the name of your level.

Backup/Restore

In a perfect world, this wouldn't be necessary. However stuff happens and the last thing you want to do is be working on an intricate level and lose all your progress because the game either crashed, your laptop died, or the power went out. For situations like this, a new backup/restore feature has been added into the level editor.

At a set interval, your level will be saved into a separate backup file. When you properly exit from the editor, a marker is set that will let the editor know the next time that it there was a clean exit and that everything is good. However should you return to the editor without this marker, the editor will know something must have happened between now and the last time you used the editor.

If this marker isn't found, the editor will offer you the chance to restore your level. Currently this offer is a one off deal to restore your level, however there is a plan to make the restore option available in the load level dialog.

It should also be noted that the editor will automatically save regardless of your set interval when you play your level.

Automatic backups DO NOT overwrite your level file and are strictly for restoring progress on your level and are not intended to be a replacement for routinely saving your level or not saving when exiting the level, loading a new level, or exiting the editor properly.

New Editor Settings

A few new settings have been added to the editor settings panel which are related to this update.

The ability to set a backup frequency in the number of minutes between each automatic backup, and the ability to disable the frosted glass UI across the whole editor. Note however that this setting is exclusive to the editor and will not disable the effect across the whole game. This setting isn't available yet and will come once the in-game graphical settings are made available via the titlescreen.

WARNING:
While the editor does say you can set the backup frequency to 0 minutes to disable the feature, there is a bug that causes the editor to interpret  this as saving constantly. Please do not set this to 0, especially if you're using a solid state drive. The writes are tiny but in the excess that the editor would rapidly save, could negatively affect your hardware over an extended period of time. This will be addressed in the next update.

Quick-Select
A new hotkey has been added to the editor which replaces the Solid Brick hotkey.
Pressing E while hovering over any object will automatically select that object to be the next object you place. Holding Shift + E will instead select the color of the object you're hovering over.

This functionality replaces the individual hotkeys used to select objects, however Q to toggle object modifiers like orientation, rotation, and power is still available and numbers will still select color (or size when shift is held.)

Bug Fixes/Changes
  • The level editor will now properly communicate to the level player that it originated from the editor, allowing you to quickly return back to the editor via the pause menu.
  • Homing Fuse Bombs will no longer interact with each other, regardless of their activation state.
  • Tab will now automatically open FreeView in-game.
  • Adjustments to the camera in-game have been made to place more emphasis on the level rather than strictly the player and the immediate surrounding area.
  • You can now pause the game before starting the level.
  • Orientation icons will now be displayed on objects when paused or in FreeView mode.
  • The editor now properly overwrites your level when you accept the overwrite prompt.
That about wraps up the bulk of this update. Of course a lot of other little changes have been made but none of them are significant enough to warrant their own section in the blog. As always, please feel free to message me about any suggestions, feedback, or criticisms you have with the game so far.